Written by The Business Journal Staff
The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District got a boost to its grant program with more than $30 million in additional U.S. Environmental Protection Agency funding to replace old agricultural tractors and low-dust harvesters.
The Valley Air District submitted proposals to the EPA for the highly competitive 2019/2020 Targeted Air Shed Grant Program and was informed that two proposals were selected. The low-dust nut harvesting equipment replacement proposal was selected for funding in the amount of $10.36 million, and the agricultural tractor replacement proposal was selected for funding in the amount of $20 million. These awards represent the largest awards to date by EPA under the Targeted Airshed Grant Program.
“Grant funds such as these recognize the partnerships with Valley farmers, businesses and residents to expedite emission reductions in the San Joaquin Valley,” stated Samir Sheikh, Executive Director and Air Pollution Control Officer of the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District. “With these funds and matching investments by local partners, the EPA is acknowledging the unique challenges of the Valley and providing much needed financial assistance.”
To date, the District’s Tractor Replacement Program has provided more than $360 million to replace more than 6,900 older, high-polluting Valley-based agricultural tractors with new, significantly cleaner units. The $20 million from this grant will help fund the replacement of approximately 526 older, high-polluting tractors with significantly cleaner Tier 4 tractors, with significant match funding provided by the District and grant recipients.
The District’s Low Dust Nut Harvester Replacement Program has successfully obligated more than $1.6 million to replace 29 nut-harvesting pieces of equipment with low-dust nut harvesting equipment. The $10.36 million from this grant will help fund the replacement of approximately 170 pieces of nut-harvesting equipment with new, low-dust harvesting equipment, with significant match funding provided by the District and grant recipients.
A complete listing of program requirements for both the Tractor Replacement Program and the Low Dust Nut Harvester Replacement Program can be found at valleyair.org/grants or by calling program staff at 559-230-5800.